KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent warning of a foreign invasion of southern Malaysia is plausible and the former prime minister should continue to speak up about this danger, PAS said today in a rare vote of assent.
The opposition Islamist party noted that the threat of foreigners overrunning the Iskandar region in Johor is real, and added that the former Umno president was the most “qualified” person to speak about the issue.
“We hope that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will give further explanations on the fight to prevent the Iskandar region from being taken over by foreigners,” PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub told a news conference at the party headquarters here.
“To me, it is appropriate for him to continue to voice out his opinion and to prove he is a statesman. He needs to continue to voice out on this concern of his because it involves the issue of national security which the Iskandar project seem to have threatened,” he said.
Last week, Dr Mahathir warned that the southern region might become “another Singapore” where foreigners outnumber Malaysians.
Dubbing the region “Johor Baru Baru” — new Johor Baru in Malay — the former prime minister pointed out that properties in the city would be costly and unaffordable to locals.
Although Dr Mahathir said the capital of Johor could be more attractive and amazing than New York, he warned that the residents of the luxury skyscrapers would be foreigners and not locals from Johor Baru.
Today, Salahuddin said Dr Mahathir should also provide evidence of the threat to the relevant authorities.
“This is very important to me as Tun Mahathir is the most qualified to speak on this and if he can contribute to this, I will not hesitate to call him a great statesman.
“He should come forward to expose, if there are violations and abuse of the luxury property market in Iskandar, controlled by foreigners, causing us, as Malaysians, to be side-lined in Iskandar,” Salahuddin added.